lay-flat binding

Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Laurence King Publishing. This book is really unusual and different from any other I’ve seen which after reviewing over 200 colouring books is quite a feat! It combines colouring, fashion and creative inspiration all into one book so it has far less colouring in than usual, but you also get loads of added extras.  This book is an absolute whopper at 33.1 x 25.3cm. It’s paperback with a beautiful partially coloured image which combines aspects from many of the patterns found inside the book. The spine is a glowing pink colour and the book is very thick and fairly heavy with a medium thickness card back and a thinner front cover. The spine is lay-flat meaning you can access the whole image and can easily remove pages from the book if you wish. You could create your own fashion-filled room by removing some or even all of the pages and putting them up on the wall or framing them for future inspiration and to add wonderful splashes of colour to your surroundings. The paper varies throughout the book, the non-colouring pages are medium thickness, smooth, slightly shiny paper which almost feels like the pages of a fashion magazine; the colouring pages are printed single-sided onto medium thickness card with a coloured back so there are no blank pages in the book but you can use whatever mediums you like on the colouring pages without fear of ruining anything on the reverse. The card the colouring pages are printed on is very lightly textured and while you can layer with pencils a little, it does burnish quickly, it’s perfect for pens, both water-based and alcohol-based and the patterns really lend themselves to bright popping colour which pens will bring fabulously! All of the pages within the book are single-pages and each chapter consists of 5 themed pages followed by one block coloured page which is the back of the colouring page each time. The book only contains 16 colourable images (plus a repeat on the back cover and another printed on paper at the back too), so if you’re wanting this just as a colouring book then it’s probably not for you as it’s a pretty pricey book for just 16 usable pages; however, if you’re interested in fashion, particularly Matthew Williamson’s work, then you’ll love this and it’ll be a must-have for your collection as it shows his creative process from the conception mood board all the way through to the finished print being strutted down the catwalk cut into a stunning and eye-catching garment.

The content of the book is split into themed chapters, each has a title page with the real life inspiration for the print, following this are full single-page spreads of the mood board used as well as a short piece of written commentary from Matthew, the studio drawing, photograph of the catwalk/illustration of a model in the outfit, and finally the colouring page so you can become a fashion designer yourself and splash your colours in whatever way you see fit. The patterns and prints are very varied and most are nature-inspired, the content includes heaps of animals including butterflies, dragonflies, leopards, parrots, flamingos and more, plants, flowers and even fruit! There are also patterns inspired by places Matthew’s travelled to including Ibiza, the Bahamas, India, Costa Rica, Morocco and even the English countryside. This book contains something for everyone and if you’re a fan of Matthew Williamson’s work then you’ll love it because he’s chosen these prints himself due to each of them being most iconic of his brand or a personal favourite.

In terms of mental health, this book offers heaps of distraction and is packed full with bright colours which are great for lifting the mood and cheering up the darkest of days. There isn’t a lot of colouring to do though each pages is huge and therefore does take a long while to colour, even when block colouring with pens! The line thickness is consistent throughout and is spindly thin, the intricacy and detail levels vary hugely but there are intricate sections on the majority of the images so you’ll need very good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book and not keep colouring over the lines. The size of the spaces does vary throughout so you can pick out some of the larger spaced designs for days when your concentration is poor and you want to colour larger sections, or on better days you can colour the more detailed illustrations and patterns. There is huge variety of content but most of the artwork is grounded in nature so it feels quite calming though it’ll be pretty energising too if you colour it in your brightest shades! While this book isn’t ideal just as a colouring book, as a one-stop-shop for fans of Matthew Williamson’s work, it’s fantastic; it’s fascinating to see and read about his creative process and the chapter layout works really well for showing the development of ideas and colour schemes from the mood board to the finished fabric. This is a must-have for any fashionistas!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for fashion-lovers and specifically fans of Matthew Williamson’s work. There aren’t a huge number of colouring pages for such a long book, but this is so much more than a colouring book and is much more like a guide to fashion with added colouring pages to customise yourself.

You can purchase a copy of this book here:
Amazon UK – Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Matthew-Williamson-Matthew-Williamson/9781780678979/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers.

If you’d like to see more or Matthew Williamson’s work, as well as download a free colouring page, click here.

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion: Adult Coloring Book is created, published and kindly sent to me to review by Amelia Gregory, the creator of the hugely successful Amelia’s Magazine. This book is really unusual because each double-page spread is created by a different artist, all of whom are named with a short bio about them and their piece at the back of the book. This means that art styles vary hugely throughout from thick and chunky lines with large open spaces, to spindly thin lines with teeny tiny gaps and everything in between, this book truly fits the description of varied, and really does have something for everyone. The book itself is a little smaller than A4, paperback with a thick-ish card cover, and it’s nice and chunky because the paper used is thick and very high quality. Each image is a double-page spread with the left-hand side coloured by the artist, and the right-hand side left black and white for you to colour. Some of the pages are one full design with half coloured and half not, and others are two similar, paired designs that don’t have a continuation aspect but are definitely related, this mixture works really well and makes for a really cohesive feel in the book despite the art being created by 44 different people. The paper is white, thick, and textured making it perfect for water-based pens which go on really smoothly with no bleeding, and pencils which layer and blend beautifully. Alcohol markers do bleed significantly so I’d avoid those but the paper is perfect for almost any other medium. One of the best things about this book is the binding, it’s called lay-flat binding and it does exactly what it says, the book lies flat no matter where you are in it so there is no spine to worry about and no area down the middle that can’t be coloured. It’s very similar to the postcard bindings which means that the images are easily removed for displaying but this also means you need to be careful when colouring on your lap or any uneven surface because you could cause the pages to become loose so do be careful with this book. The images are printed double-sided with a coloured image on the reverse of each black and white image so you don’t have to worry much about bleeding and I experienced absolutely none with the pens I used.

The images themselves are really varied because they’re each created by a different artist so there isn’t a lot of specific detail I can give without describing each image which is why I’ve included lots of photos from inside the book below. As I mentioned before, there is a huge variety of line thickness, intricacy and detail level, the image style is also really varied from abstract to realistic, cartoony to surreal, impressionist to scenic and much more. The content is equally varied from people to places, food to animals, scenery to portraits and heaps and heaps of other quirky randomness. The colour schemes of the pre-coloured pages are also really different from bright to dark, every colour to a limited palette, pastels to neons and primaries to naturals, so there is huge scope for you to use all sorts of different colours schemes in your own work either by matching your half to the pre-coloured half, using opposite colour palettes, complimentary colours, or just doing your own thing completely. There really is so much scope to make this book your own and turn it into a work of art.

In terms of mental health, the variety is a big selling point for those of you with fluctuating conditions and varying levels of concentration and ability. There truly is a page that will suit any mood, symptom and ability level. This variance means that it won’t be suited to those of you with particularly poor vision or fine motor control because there are a number of highly intricate and detailed images but for the majority of you, this book will really suit you, especially if you really like a mixture of styles. On top of getting the book, you also get 8 postcards, 4 of which are fully coloured and 4 are black and white ready to be coloured by you. This book really is the book that keeps on giving! You can colour the postcards on the days when you want a small project and the book when you’re up for a full-page challenge.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to use pens because of the bleed-proof paper, those who like to remove and frame their work, those who love variety and anyone with a fluctuating condition because this book covers all levels and will keep you very busy. The binding is fabulous and an absolute dream to work with – I wish all colouring books had it! This book is filled with beautiful art just waiting to be coloured and it’s limited edition with just 1000 copies being printed so what are you waiting for?! Get ordering!

You can purchase a copy here:
Amazon UK – Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion: Adult Coloring Book

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners, Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tips.